Thursday, Jun 30, 2011
Category: Live from the Ranch
Late last night we butchered a big steer to grind into hamburger. The ranch is running low because due to events held here on the ranch and our high numbers of summer interns. We started around 7:30 and had the animal ready to hang overnight in less than an hour. Earlier this week I found a knife out in the prairie. It is a bit rusted and the handle is toast but I brought it back, cleaned it up and put an edge on it to see if it was going to be worth anything. Last night I used it to field dress the steer and was very pleasantly surprised at how the knife performed. It stayed incredibly sharp through the whole process and was still shaving hair when we were finished. I am going to send the knife to a knife maker in California and have him put a nice new handle on it and build a belt scabbard. Both are things that we typically do here on the ranch but since it seems to be a pretty good knife I am going to have him dress it up a little.
Posted by Duke I. on 06/30/2011

Thursday, Jun 23, 2011
Category: Live from the Ranch
It is amazing how quickly the landscape on the prairie changes. Often with the a hint of moisture, there is a green tinge hours later. If there is a substantial storm, it becomes a whole different world. Everything turns green and grows a tremendous rate. We were fortunate enough to cross paths with a storm that left a notable amount of rain across the whole ranch. While it was not enough to help us out completely, it was a great step in the right direction. If we are graced with another follow-up storm in the next few days or week our landscape will change drastically. Until then, we are happy for what we have gotten. Any rain is good rain here.
Posted by Duke I. on 06/23/2011

Wednesday, Jun 15, 2011
Category: Live from the Ranch
Moon Rise

I just got home from a long day branding with a friend of ours in southern Colorado. It has been a while since I have seen them and it was good to catch up and meet some new additions to their crew. Days like today are some of my very favorite. It was long, hot and hard work but at the end of the day everything was done according to plans. When we pulled out of Pueblo at 6:30p and headed north, the thermometer was reading 94 degrees F. This is summer cattle works in full swing. It is a great time of year.
Posted by Duke I. on 06/15/2011

Thursday, Jun 09, 2011
Category: Live from the Ranch
Stray cows.

I took this picture just before I hauled a load of stray cattle back to their pasture. We gathered these cattle among 100 others and brought them back to headquarters only to realize that they did not belong. So we loaded them in two trailers and returned them. They were appreciative.

Today we moved a big herd of yearlings to new pasture. The gather went really well but towards the end of the drive the cattle bogged down with the heat and the new fresh pasture. It was incredibly dusty all day and by the end, everybody's faces were a few shades lighter with the prairie dust caked on. It was a great day.
Posted by Duke I. on 06/09/2011

Wednesday, Jun 01, 2011
Category: Live from the Ranch
We have been riding most days. It is normal for this time of year and it is being intensified by our dire dry situation. The cattle are on the verge of breeding season and are trying to get the them into the best condition possible so that they are healthy and ready for the bulls. In order to keep them in good condition it is crucial that we are very aware of our pasture growth and future moves. In pastures that are on riparian areas or received a little rain there is a slight green tinge. We move the cattle according to this. They graze the pasture until the green feed is gone, then we move them on to the next so that they stay fully on the new growth and so that the plant life has time to recover. By doing this with close monitoring and planning we are hoping to be able to make the little grass there is last us through this dry spell. I am loving all of the riding but it is hard to be content with the prairie drying out all around us.
Posted by Duke I. on 06/01/2011

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